Master keys are designed to open a variety of locks; they are somewhat of a universal tool.
If only there was such a device to help us open our minds…
Luckily, there is! It’s called hypnosis, a naturally occurring state of consciousness that in clinical applications (hypnotherapy) is safe, painless, and powerfully versatile in facilitating behavioral, emotional and or physical change—like a master key for the mind.
Here’s why you should try hypnosis today.
A Long History of Healing
The recorded use of hypnosis as a tool for transformation and healing dates back more than 7000 years.
Since then, hypnotherapy has ebbed and flowed in popularity, sometimes flourishing, sometimes almost disappearing, but always surviving— across cultures, geographies, technologies, and time itself—and for a very simple reason: it works!
Today, hypnotherapy is once again resurgent. Researchers and practitioners worldwide are uncovering the scientific basis through which the brain creates and benefits from hypnotic trance, thus taking hypnosis and hypnotherapy out of the realm of the esoteric and metaphysical and into the mainstream of modern healthcare and wellness.
Shattering the Myths
Notwithstanding the new science, however, for many, “hypnosis” still evokes images of piercing eyes, swinging watches, goofy stage-show shenanigans, bad plot-lines in bad movies, the specter of losing control and being programmed to act against one’s will, getting stuck in some zombie-like netherworld, or even being possessed by Satan himself.
Fortunately, these notions⎯all archaic and absolute nonsense⎯are rapidly succumbing to the cold, hard logic of modern science. It is fact that no one can enter hypnosis against their will, and they cannot lose control of their mind, or get stuck or be possessed, period.
Ironically, the whole purpose of hypnotherapy is to help clients increase control over both their mind and body, and thus by extension, their lives.
We Are All Hypnotized Every Day
Most people are surprised to learn that virtually all of us experience hypnosis all by ourselves every day of our lives. Anytime you engross yourself in a good book, “zone-out” or daydream, find yourself pulling into your driveway but don’t remember the getting there, or watch a movie or TV show that makes you laugh or cry, you are in fact in hypnosis!
Of course, there appears to be a big difference between zoning out on the freeway and transcending a life-limiting issue. But it’s just that—appearance.
Since hypnosis is merely a state of consciousness that can happen automatically or induced on purpose through a guide (hypnotist) or on one’s own (self-hypnosis), like a master key, its effect is all about the lock it’s used upon.
Try a Little Self Hypnosis Right Now!
Want to try hypnosis? Here’s how to hypnotize yourself in the comfort of your own home.
1. Sit comfortably in a place— indoors or outside—without distractions or disturbance.
2. Close your eyes and relax them completely; let the lids feel so heavy that they cannot open.
3. Now, do the same with your jaw. Let it droop as if the bones and muscles are jelly.
4. Breathe slowly and gently and progressively relax your neck and shoulders, then arms and hands, torso, hips, upper and lower legs, and feet by first tensing then completely releasing that tension in the muscles in each area.
5. Next, refocus attention to your eyes. Gently look up toward the inside of your forehead and breathe in; as you release the breath, silently say, “totally relaxed, deep sleep.” You are in light hypnosis—nothing more to it.
6. To come out, count “1, 2, 3, 4, 5 eyes open, wide awake.” You’re back. Congratulations, you just hypnotized yourself.
Deep Sleep! How it Works
Entering hypnosis involves both the conscious-cognitive and the subconscious-automatic parts of the mind engaging and creating a neurological “bypass” to homeostasis, our inborn and sometimes tenacious resistance to change and the unfamiliar.
Related: 8 Bedtime Hacks: A Cheat Sheet For Getting A Good Night’s Sleep
We enter a state of altered but cognizant consciousness almost identical to meditation—highly focused, open, and wonderfully receptive to new thoughts, ideas, behaviors and feelings both emotional and physical as long as they are in line with our desires.
With homeostasis essentially “turned off,” the conscious and subconscious minds conduct a sort of neurological summit meeting—a new “policy” is suggested, negotiated and ratified, and then with appropriate reinforcement, usually some number of sessions combined with simple, daily exercises, the brain essentially reprograms itself.
In essence, we purposefully exploit and manipulate both neural plasticity—our brain’s ability to rewire itself—and the power and potential of the mind/body dynamic.
Yes, we can teach old dogs new tricks!
How To Use Hypnosis In Your Life
But why try hypnosis? The potential applications for clinical hypnosis are extensive. Just a partial list includes:
- Overcoming unwanted/unhealthy habits, (e.g., smoking, nail biting)
- Changing behavioral and emotional patterns
- Conquering fears and phobias
- Increasing self-confidence and self-esteem
- Improving focus, concentration and performance in sports, school, or at work
- Analgesia and anesthesia for medical/dental conditions and chronic pain
- Minimizing tissue damage, blood loss and accelerating healing from dental and surgical procedures
- Easing the side-effects of chemo and radiation therapy
- Managing (sometimes eliminating) many traditionally difficult-to-treat ailments like migraine, IBS, immune disorders, asthma, allergies, sexual dysfunction, and many more
Naturally, like any tool or technique—however versatile—there are limits to the efficacy of hypnotherapy. Some people and conditions do not respond—and it is certainly not magic, although it can work so quickly it may feel that way.
Success requires genuine desire, willingness to experience induced hypnosis, belief in a positive outcome, and commitment to the therapeutic process.
Of course, to the millions who do benefit, these requirements seem a small price to pay for such a potentially wonderful result—feeling empowered and living life the way they want to rather than feeling stuck and helpless over their issues. It is a delicious way to feel, and something we all deserve to experience. Try hypnosis today, and change your life.
John McGrail, PhD is a renowned clinical hypnotherapist, self improvement expert, and sought after spiritual teacher who has become one of our country’s leading media experts and public speakers relating to personal growth and successful life transformation. His new book, “The Synthesis Effect: Your Path to Personal Power and Transformation,” (Career Press, 2012) shares his unique therapeutic and teaching approach that has helped thousands of clients and students in his clinical practice and self-improvement seminars permanently change and empower their lives.